Friday, January 15, 2016

Friday Hike Day: Millard Canyon Falls, Altadena

I've never seen an acorn hat THIS big!
I had never heard of Millard Falls. I came across it via instagram. {You can find lots of great hiking spots via instagram search!!!} Initially it was going to be a side-hike after we finished at Dawn Mine...except we didn't find Dawn Mine. (probably next week, so stay tuned!) 

A family of orange mushrooms.
THis is a great hike on it's own though. It has a lovely and well maintained trail. We encountered two volunteers working on the trail today. I made a point of thanking them for volunteering their time and energy to maintain the trail and letting them know we appreciate it.

What you need to know: There is a parking lower parking lot at Millard Camp Ground. GPS will say you have arrived a little ways before you actually have (at least it did for me), just keep going and follow signs. Adventure Pass is required for parking or risk it. You must walk through the small campground to get to the trail. There are vault toilet restrooms. Try not to look and hold your breath as best you can!!! 

The trail is not very hard and well marked with rock edges. The creek is with you all along the way. There is also a small mine opening you can slightly climb up to. I don't know if it leads anywhere or is a dead end. The opening is small and only youngest climbed up to step inside. There was water along the ground inside and I don't know how deep it may have been. 

I saw a picture of moss from another hike and told myself next time I encountered moss I would touch it.
This was the time and it was SO soft. Like velvet. 
The trail is a mix of sun and shade. There was plenty of lush greenery and visual interest. It was a cool day but the hike kept us warm until we stopped for lunch by the falls. Definitely dress in layers. The trail is kid friendly but not stroller friendly. There are rocks and rock steps at times.

Cloud cover.
The view from the picture above was actually from a different trail that takes you from Millard Campground to Sunset Ridge. We took this trail initially, in an attempt to get to Dawn Mine. The views are wonderful and this trail will really get your warmed up. If it's summer, expect to break out in a full sweat. It's like a buns of steel trail at points.

At Sunset Ridge, you will find an informative and historical map with trails of the old tourist train tracks, trails to Echo Mountain, Dawn Mine and many more. Research before you go if you want to explore any of the other trails, They are longer and more challenging (from information I have read online) but was told, totally worth it.

We met Jody and NicktheHiker today. They were full of wonderful information and knowledge, and very friendly. 
We met this lovely couple in the parking lot. I want to be a friendlier hiker and document who we may meet along the trails. I think there is a wonderful hiking community out there and hope to connect more with new faces this year. 

Muddy shoes.
This kid! With fallen logs to climb, rocks to scamper over and creeks to cross, I highly recommend this trail for kids. Totally family friendly. I find it challenging to accept my youngest physical enthusiasm aka energy, in daily life. Even more so since the trampoline broke (seriously!). When we go hiking though, there is enough space for his big spirit! I realized maybe that is the best thing. Maybe there is something to letting go of the idea of making him fit into our space and instead, find space where he has the room he needs! 

Maybe we can be a band!

The falls are beautiful and was still flowing. The pool at the base was shallow enough to get close with out getting too wet or having to soak your shoes. I got splashed during our photo opps. Haha. We enjoyed our lunch right here next to the falls. If you mind the dirt, bring a picnic blanket or something to sit on. There are only a few small rocks to sort of sit on.

The Lovely Millard Falls

This will go on my list as one of my favorites. I consider this great for beginners as it's not that long. It was fairly empty when we went. Only ran across a few extra hikers always in the opposite direction. Unlike other water fall hikes we've done where you can't even get a solo pic for all the people trying.

We did not see wildlife beyond birds...and a decapitated rooster. I have 'heard' that this was probably a sign of a religious sacrifice of some sort. The bird was beautiful and we were sad to find it. Others have reported to seeing deer or even bears. It IS bear country, as most mountains are. Always be aware of your surroundings and use caution.

This gets a fair rating on the Adventure Scale but everyone was pleased and happy with the hike. Nothing to complain about. Dogs welcome on leash, of course.

See you  next week. Don't forget to: start the day outside! 


  1. Anonymous11:08 AM

    Hi , nice article. But wandering she you took those pictures . for one there is hardly any water coming over falls , trail not overgrown from being closed via USFS . there is now like zero water in falls. . dry

    1. These pictures were taken on the date listed on the posting of this article. According to USFA the trail (& adjacent Campground) is OPEN except when occasionally closed due to bear sightings.


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